The Tableau, a poetry form created by Emily Romano in October of 2008, consists of one or more verses, each having six lines. Each line should have five beats. There is no set rhyme scheme, although rhyme may be present. The title should contain the word tableau.

Since the dictionary states the word tableau means picture or representation, the poem should reflect this. A picture should come to mind as the poem is read.


“Selfless” Tableau

Three sets of blue eyes
Three smiling babies
Fed, bathed, and PJ’d
Three cuddled angels
Two arrived today
Taken in by you
And the spacious heart
You wear on your sleeve.

© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2013



In his head, it plays,
a melody strong.
The root of his song
ebbs and flows in waves,
he saves the best part
written from his heart.

In his song are words.
Thoughts that he has heard
over and over.
They say he loves her.
They say that he cares.
It is there he sings.

Songs start in his heart,
each beat is measured,
in a loop of love.
Visions fill his muse
and he refuses
to let his song die.

She knows as he plays
that the song is hers
only a short while,
and she smiles knowing
that she has inspired
what the world will hear.

In her heart it plays.
His melody, strong,
his love in her song.
And he brings the things
in each word he sings;
fingers poised to play.

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2013


  1. Tableau Of Life And Wisdom

    It starts as a seed,
    Planted in the earth;
    Watered by the rain,
    It soon starts to grow;
    Nurtured by the sun,
    It’s leaves shine bright green;

    Each year of its life
    Is marked in its trunk,
    Set deep in its heart,
    Cherished in the wood;
    Each year is a ring,
    Scored in its marrow;

    Hidden in each ring
    Is the wisdom of
    Countless days and years;
    As it lifts its arms
    To God, its wisdom
    Becomes clear to me.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope

  2. Spring on the Tableau

    Your little silver
    vase sits between flames
    of candles bright, glows
    with apple blossoms –
    spring scent greets the air.
    But winds howl down

    the branches, raining
    winter into May, white
    petals stir the air,
    blossoms in my hair.
    Your little silver
    vase greets apple scents.

    ~ Misky

  3. Pingback: Spring on the Tableau | Misky


    Springtime brings blooming
    in the ground and trees,
    and gnats start zooming,
    all freed from the freeze;
    the grasses grow green
    with a fresh new sheen.

    The swallows swooping
    through the summer sky;
    the red-tails stooping
    as mice scamper by;
    no time can surpass
    the life in the grass.

    In autumn, the gold
    takes over the land:
    a prelude to cold,
    but passage so grand.
    The grasses bend down,
    almost with a frown,

    till winter descends
    with cold and the snow
    and all movement ends
    in the grass below,
    then time, in its pause
    bows to nature’s laws.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. At the Breakfast Table(au)

    A blue grosbeak joins
    goldfinch, chickadee,
    bluebird and titmouse
    for breakfast—my treat.
    For an instant, hues
    blend in morning light.

    The sight of feathers,
    wings, the song they sing,
    the gumball seeds they
    share repair my day
    long before it breaks.
    Their tableau takes flight.

  6. What a lovely scene, which is the point of a tableau, I guess.. The blue grosbeak suggests the South, or at least, south of the Northeast.

      • Yup. North Carolina gets so many birds, but I do watch for a few favorites after each migration. Thanks, all.

        • Oh, I’d love to see that menagerie at my feeder. It sounds wonderful. “seeds they share repair my day long before it breaks” is a great sentiment.

  7. Walt’s piece is stunning: it not only creates a picture, it creates music too.

  8. Still Life With Fruit – A Tableau

    On my counter, there sits
    a cantaloupe, waiting
    to ripen. A dozen
    strawberries waft perfume
    as they sunbathe. Deep dark

    purple grapes take a nap
    in the colander and
    salad veggies chill in
    their FiestaWare bowl…
    from seeds to souvenirs.


  9. Pingback: Tableau letting go | Vivinfrance's Blog


    It stands, broad and flat,
    waiting and ready
    to host one and all
    who might come to call,
    burdens held steady
    for food or for chat.

    It bears smears of fat
    and stains of spaghetti
    and scars that appall,
    but yet, by the wall,
    as calm as an eddy,
    it waits, broad and flat.

    copyright 2013; William Preston

      • Thank you. It just hit me, though: two of the lines in the second violate the form. Oh, well; that’s what first drafts are for.

    • I love what you can do with five syllables and rhyme. I’ll bet you could build a home with foil and string. Wonderful look at what my mom would call the lovely common-placed.

      • Thanks very much, but as for building a home… Well, put it this way: I’m sort of like George Kaufman, who once remarked, “I’m still trying to figure out the principle of the hammer.”

    • Beautiful… yes, I agree with Jane’s mom: “…the lovely common-placed”.


    She sits at table
    By herself again
    Bobby’s empty plate
    The sound of his voice
    Cruel reminders now
    He’s not coming home

    The times he sat there
    Taken for granted
    The way his laughter
    Would bounce wall to wall
    And she’d berate him
    Stop being a fool

    It’s so ironic
    She tells herself now
    Bobby who loved life
    Lost it to cancer
    And she who feared life
    Is left here alone

    Each meal is the same
    She sits at table
    She sets Bobby’s place
    She visits the past
    Where he’s still alive
    And weeps for lost love


  12. Sunrise Beach Tableau

    The green-white foamy waves
    chase after tiny crabs
    burrowing in the sand.
    Pipers scout the shoreline
    in search of sweet morsels.
    Singing gulls scavenge, too.

    The sky is streaked in hues
    too beautiful to name
    in the early morning.
    Bicyclers on the boards
    feel the cool rush of wind
    as their wheels spin a tale

    of salty breezes and
    sunbleached driftwood. An old
    man with detector
    in hand seeks a treasure,
    not realizing that
    he’s already found it.


  13. Does anyone know what is going on w/ Robert? I keep checking in for the Wed prompt, and so far, nothing. Did I miss something? I hope everything is OK

    • It’s up now. “For today’s poetry prompt, write an “on the run” (or “on the loose”) poem. Could be a person on the run, or an animal, or even an idea.”

  14. Morning Tableau

    Morning sun rises
    Our bedroom fades in
    Hubby moves and groans
    Cuddles and kisses
    Must have cup of tea
    Quiet time, write poem

    Food out, pack lunches,
    Household awakens
    Toileting for all
    Shower, dress, and pills
    Breakfasts one to four
    Brush teeth, out the door

  15. Pingback: My Universe Defined by a Tableau | Gene's Musings

  16. My Universe Defined by a Tableau

    Surrounded at home
    by beautiful land,
    couched in the mountains
    of Appalachia.
    I was born here and
    will find my grave here.

    My craft consumes me.
    It’s exciting, yet
    But still I will try
    to know the future,
    like where the wind blows

    Uncertainty rules
    mysterious thoughts
    that rattle inside
    the mind of my spouse.
    They bring perspective
    as she grounds me, here.

    My sanity gone,
    stolen by children
    with innocent smiles,
    but I am not fooled.
    I love those boys of
    devious intent.

    Neighbored by loons,
    as the one next door.
    He truly is odd,
    riding four wheelers
    to subdue his lawn.
    But he’s not so bad.

    Under northern stars
    my universe turns
    revolving around
    family and friends.
    And I would have it
    In no other way.

  17. Pingback: This Dog Lover’s Tablea | Metaphors and Smiles

    • This Dog Lover’s Tableau
      I went to break earth,
      to make space for her;
      out to move soil…
      I found flowers there,
      wild blossoms seeded
      where I buried you.
      Year ago nearly
      I laid a handful
      to honor your soul,
      watered by my tears-
      rooted in that plot,
      blue Forget-Me-Not.
      She will join you soon,
      set to dream with you;
      she’s ready to run
      across great green plains,
      her pain will be gone,
      gathered in His palm.
      Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  18. I thought I’d drop these two small offerings off here on my way to posting on my website. Walt, Marie, I love this form. Thank so much for showcasing it.

    Grace of Form Tableau

    Within one breath’s space,
    Equine flyer soars
    Over gates half its height,
    Stretched in gleaming
    Glory as rider
    Seems to lift them both.

    Upon a Wing Tableau

    It rests, sloe wings spread
    over leaf, its glowing
    teal symbol flashing
    its message for all
    to take fragile peace,
    share liberally.

    Butterflies do sooth
    cold hearts, pained psyches,
    with delicate charm,
    of those who share
    peaceful beauty’s days.


    Fiery display
    of deep red and gold
    announces day’s end
    as night music adds
    a song of love and
    hearts sway in the breeze.

    One by one the stars
    add their spark to the
    sky’s dark canopy
    beguiling the moon
    to join their display,
    listen to the music.

    Then the rising moon
    silhouettes night birds
    dipping and swelling
    in their regal dance
    mimicking heart beat
    of a lovers song.

  20. Pingback: Tableaux Present Pictures | Two Voices, One Song

  21. Keep the Tab(leau)

    He drinks his beer a-
    lone, watching the street,
    where people pass, lov-
    ers and old friends meet,
    for day’s shifting light,
    for healing soft night.

    Soon others join him,
    smooth his broken edge,
    drink beer and offer
    views from off their ledge.
    They laugh at old flames,
    embarrassing shames.

    More people pull chairs
    around the table,
    drawn to happy friends
    ready and able
    to soothe hearts a while,
    to talk trash and smile.

    Calling for pitchers,
    pretzels, their moods rise,
    as does their drinking
    tab, to near the skies.
    Their wallets pay now;
    their heads tomorrow.

  22. Silent Tableau

    The red rock canyons
    in my mind, chiseled
    With the Feel of him,
    Carved in subtleness
    Here to stay, it seems
    Unbeknownst to him.

      • …yes… they have this amazing sense of presence… I think that you would Love the artistic havens of Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Erin… Perhaps some day you will get to travel there…

        • I know that land, albeit from years ago. Northern New Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest, are as close to perfections as I’ve ever seen. Your piece recalled the land around Los Alamos, in particular.


    Young lovers wrapped in
    each other’s arms; no
    harm done as they lay
    in wait for day’s heat
    to disappear—as
    midnight sleep draws near.

    Under the blanket
    of stars, they whisper
    wishes while stealing
    kisses; they dream and
    scheme of a future
    as bright as the moon.

    P. Wanken

  24. Pingback: A Moonlight Tableau | echoes from the silence

  25. Maybe it was the cold, dreary, Monday and Tuesday that put me in this frame of mind. I don’t know…

    Christmas Past Tableau

    I remember strolls
    down snow-dusted streets
    looking in wonder
    at department store
    scenes of winterscapes
    when I was a kid.

    Christmas trees, toy trains,
    little drummer boys,
    bags and packages
    brightly wrapped and bowed,
    tinsel and garlands
    twinkling lights aglow.

    and Santa’s helpers
    ho-ho-hoing and
    ringing the bell at
    Salvation Army’s
    booth and big kettle
    outside of Murphy’s

    Five and ten cent store
    where people waved “Hi”
    yelled “Merry Christmas”
    and old Christmas hymns
    blared from the speakers
    in department stores.

    Main Street is mainly
    all empty buildings,
    crumbling brick, windows
    cracked, display stage strewn
    with debris and dust
    and ghosts of the past.

    • Yes, all to familiar in most cities, these days. You’ve captured the old magic, though.

    • Your poem sparks many happy memories of growing up in Northern Maine and going to the big town of Houlton at Christmas time. Main Street was adorned with all kinds of decorations, and every store had wonderful displays. Your last verse sums up the change over the years. Almost brings a tear to my eye every time I make it back to the town where I grew up and see the deterioration of Main Street.

      • ej, I so wish the downtowns in our small cities would make a come back. Local is so much better.

  26. Had a little fun and some time on my hands. Here is an added poem:


    Two arrived today,
    a melody strong.
    Countless days and years;
    winter into May, white
    with cold and the snow.
    A blue grosbeak joins.

    From seeds to souvenirs.
    For food or for chat.
    Cruel reminders now
    sadly neglected,
    I was born here and
    she will join you soon,

    With lines from the Tableau poems by Hannah Gosselin, Gene Dupler, Vivienne Blake, Salvatore Buttaci, William Preston (2), RJ Clarken,
    Jane Shlensky, Erin Kay Hope, Marilyn Braendeholm,
    Walt Wojtanik, Marie Elena Good

  27. A Mind, Racing

    “All dreamers are on the run.” ~Julian Casablancas

    I think I’m lucid. But
    I am dreaming…dreaming….
    I can say this because
    my thoughts are racing through
    a course not yet charted:
    I don’t know the arc yet.

    But on some distant day,
    I shall understand it.
    Still, the journey is what
    the story’s all about;
    the speed is relative.


  28. The Tableau of God

    No one can see Him
    With eyes open wide
    No one can feel Him
    If shut down inside
    No one denies Him
    But from Him we hide

    He’s ultimate love
    His love is for all
    He’s ultimate grace
    For us when we fall
    He’s ultimate God
    Creator of all

    He calls us softly
    To look on His face
    He loves us always
    Extending us grace
    He gives salvation
    Eternity’s place

  29. Magnification

    My vision was blurred
    I squinted a lot
    Three years it had been
    Since I had last got
    My eye sight reviewed
    I called up the doc

    “Look at the numbers
    You like one or two
    Or possibly three
    Which one’s best for you?”
    “One is still blurry
    I think I like two.”

    “I know your left eye
    Is legally blind
    Let’s check for focus
    Can you see that line?”
    “It’s there on the wall.”
    “Your left eye is fine.”

    “How’s your bifocal?”
    “I think it’s all right.”
    “Is that any better?”
    “That improved my sight.”
    “Read the smallest line.”
    “0-4 Copyright.”

    Fixed all of my woes
    I see so much better
    No more blurry show
    Is magnifico

  30. The Table Auction

    A place to be sold
    For what it was worth
    No sentiment here
    Just an old table
    No longer needed
    Already replaced

    Just an old table
    Memories attached
    Part of the fam’ly
    For so many years
    Worn but still stable
    Someone would want it

    Now up for auction
    Five dollars the bid
    Then ten, then fifteen
    Then silence was heard
    Deafening silence
    Fifteen was the bid

    “One hundred dollars!”
    A bid from the back
    Everyone looked as
    The auctioneer said
    “Going once, twice, sold!’
    We took it back home

  31. Table Decoration Tableau

    A one-eared cat admires
    the flowered pot he sees,
    umbrella`d by its leaves.
    So sharply springs aloft
    so radiant her noise
    through silence as she heaves.

    The cat with love repaired
    has now two ears to hear
    Transfixed, his joy appears
    to be one with the scene.
    Now beauty, joy and hope
    an entertaining dream.

    (Purchased the one-eared cat at flea mkt for a buck. Modeled a new ear and painted her. It does not take much to make me happy, lol. Check out my picture. BTW, this is a new, current pic of me. The other one displayed for last couple of years was 40 years old. Still, I take advantage of Photo Shop when I can & remove as many wrinkles as possible, poetic license I would call it..)


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